Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Going green on WIHI

Going, Going, Green! Embedding Environmental Health
and Sustainability into Health Care Delivery  
April 5, 2012, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Gary Cohen, President and Co-Founder, Health Care Without Harm

John Messervy, AIA, Director of Capital & Facility Planning, Partners HealthCare, Inc.

Amy Collins, MD,
Emergency Physician, MetroWest Medical Center; Chair, Go Green Committee, MetroWest

How green is your hospital? Green, as you know, has become shorthand for everything from recycling to the use of safer products to shrinking one's carbon footprint to preventing pollutants from spewing into the air. There are any number of urgent reasons for the health care sector to be examining its green practices. One of them is just the sheer amount of resources hospitals consume: in the US, that’s tons and tons of water and 836 trillion BTU of energy annually. These same hospitals dispose of 6,600 tons of waste per day. Fortunately, we can all now point to visible efforts at most hospitals to “think and act” a lot greener. But even these well-intentioned efforts have a tendency to stall or lose steam, too often dependent on staff volunteers and lacking a bigger, bolder vision that cuts across the entire organization and how it's run.

Aiming to build on existing progress and to make a giant leap forward on the environmental front, three organizations are now joining forces to launch what’s being dubbed the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. The new effort is anchored by some large hospital systems in the US whose green practices are already exemplary and demonstrate the wisdom behind linking environmental stewardship to efforts to improve safety and reduce health care costs. The Healthier Hospitals Initiative hopes to enlist some 1,000 hospitals in the broad-based campaign, focused on an agenda that includes increased use of safer materials and products for patients and staff alike; reduction of energy consumption and waste; and adoption of policies to ensure sustainability.

WIHI welcomes Gary Cohen to the April 5 program to help lay it all out. He’s the co-founder and president of Healthcare Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth, whose work has helped lay the groundwork for this larger initiative. Gary will be joined by Dr. Amy Collins, who leads a number of efforts at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, helping MetroWest garner a number of environmental excellence awards. There’s no moving forward on the green agenda without the likes of John Messervy, who rounds out the WIHI on April 5. He founded the Partners Sustainability Initiative in 2008, and has tremendous knowledge of the environmental engineering changes possible throughout a large hospital system.

WIHI host Madge Kaplan invites you to come learn, compare notes, and to consider accelerating your health care facility’s green agenda. See you on April 5!
To enroll, please click here.

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